article: Mistake of Lifetime 

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MISTAKE OF A LIFETIME ...Ya Can't Fix Stupid

Our biggest mistake is now called our mistake of a life time (for us).

We have been professional breeders for over 30 years.

What we are about to tell you has never happened to us before now..

It all started in August 2011, when we offered some baby yellow napes up for sale. The babies quickly sold out and the website did update and reflect that they were all sold. We were contacted by what it seemed at the time a nice man and woman  the Epsteins in Woodland  Hills, CA, they inquired about blue gold macaws, which were not ready at the time, they quickly asked about the yellow napes, in which we told them that they were sold, The guy on the other end of the phone seemed agitated and said that he wanted one, we again said  "They are sold".  We had a short conversation and hung up.   

About 2 weeks passed, again the same person called and inquired about a yellow nape amazon, We again stated " They are ALL Sold".  A few days passed and then again the same person called and ask again about the yellow napes, we told him the same thing, SOLD. he quickly stated  "Why did we not want to sell him a bird?"

I quickly said that we would sell him a bird but we were sold out of the yellow napes.  I told him that we did have a few greys that were not spoken for and they are almost ready to leave, if he was interested in one of those we would be happy to help him if he was serious and ready. he wanted new pictures, which we did take new pictures of these very sweet babies that were around 16 weeks old. We emailed the pictures to his email address that same night.

He called  the next day and said yes, they wanted one, they picked one out  from the pictures and then it ALL started,  

He Now needed a cage, I suggested a few good toys and instructed him on how to rotate the toys so the bird would always have new toys, We talked about diet, in which we do send a complete starter kit with foods that the babies are already weaned onto and are used to. We also send a full instruction sheet on how to feed and what not to feed and just good helpful info. He started asking and telling me about other foods that he was going to buy for the bird, I told him to please wait and just let the baby adjust before starting anything new. Give the baby time, please. And also remember once the diet is changed, we cannot help you in the future if any concerns about health comes up.

I thought I got the point across and he said he understood, Boy! was we wrong..

He started asking me how soon can they take the bird outside. and questions about about bathing the baby when he got it home, I quickly firmly stated,  PLEASE do not start taking a new bird outside, we do clip some feathers only to keep SOME control while its a baby but is no way should one EVER trust a bird outside just because the feathers have been clipped, its a false sense of security, its never safe no matter how well you think the wings are trimmed, ITS NEVER SAFE, and also do not start wetting this new bird soon as you get it, we are shipping this guy to you. it will need some time to settle in and plus its a baby(16 weeks old) it could get chilled, just give the bird some time and let it adjust to you and the home and your routines, please give it some time. he said he was going to bath it anyway, I quickly said and firmly, PLEASE do not,,,do not that, I was satisfied that I had made myself clear and said OK,and he understood, I thought he did anyway.

Then it started with talking about taking the bird outside, AGAIN, firmly,, I tried to explain that this was a baby bird and the wings have been only slightly trimmed with what we call a baby cut, just to slow it down but still enough to allow the baby to balance. and it needs time to adjust and to take it easy..and also we do not clip the wings off due to the bird needs a little time to learn to balance and can get hurt if we clip the wings off where it cannot fly, maybe later when the new owners learn the bird and the bird knows him, then take it to a veterinarian or somewhere where they know how to cut it properly and get them to take a little more off, but if you insist on taking it outside, remember this, ITS NEVER SAFE. well clipped birds can still fly, we have seen birds that were kept clipped every year for many years and they thought that the bird cannot fly due to could not fly in the house, However outside its different, there are thermals and updrafts and they will fly away.Also as birds adjust and learn they only have to adapt to clipped feathers and then they can still fly, But, I told him "We do sell a bird harness that you would need to put on the bird before taking it outside",(SINCE THEN we no longer sell the harness) and we explained if he did not really accepot our information we may have to rethink selling them a bird.He said, oh they will do whatever we say, YEA... RIGHT...

Well.. Well. Well..We indeed shipped a harness along with the other items he purchased, they were sent a few days before the bird arrived, So the FOOD, THE HARNESS, and The instruction sheet was there long before the bird arrived...we thought this seems to be going better than the start.

Now for the bad part.

The bird arrived on Sunday afternoon, VERY safe and sound, as get a notification from delkta when the bird arrived waiting for the customer to pickup. We made contact with the customer later that night, He said that all was well and the bird let everyone play with it and it was resting in its cage and seemed to be doing very well, they like it and was sooo happy, I ask do you still uderstand everything we talked about, Do you understand what the instruction sheets say? YES, Everything is very well written and explained he said. , Ok, I said we would talk again in a couple days to see how things was going, 

WELL, somewhere around 2-3 PM our time(eastern) on the next day, Monday, we get this frantic call from them, Yelling and screaming on the phone that their bird flew away outside. I said,What are you talking about? I said loudly again What are you Talking about???,,,He then said " Our bird flew away", How did it get outside? I say,   He says.."We bathed it and took it outside in the sun"   

DID YOU GET THAT PART? Did Your Heart Just Sink??

They Bathed it, Then they took it outside..No harness or anything.. just took it outside and sit down and it sit there for awhile and it got scared and started to flap away down into some trees in the woods.

Why did you take it out side I said. Then The guy screams on the phone,,,WHY NOT?? Its my F bird.

Its my bird..I can do what i want..he says..

I am thinking, Stupid, Stupid  Stupid.

I was like,  you have to be kidding, after all we talked about, after i sent a harness....after i said, please do not bath the bird, do not take it outside..I was speechless, I mean what can you say to someone like that? And this was ALL MY FAULT, should never never sold this guy anything, should have known,

They said they was going to look for him, I said please just go and find that bird, what have you done? I  hung up the phone.

I got another phone call later that evening from him, saying they had looked a few hours and could not find him. I was distraught, I mean I raised that bird for from the egg and for 16 weeks and then this happen because someone just plain refused to listen to what I said. I just did not know how much the man or the woman (his wife) didn't listen until She got on the phone, She started out by saying (screaming) we sold her a bird that could fly, WELL, Imagine that...A bird that can fly......

I told her that all this was discussed with her husband but he refused to listen, I said " Why did you take the bird outside without the harness?" I said why did you take it outside period, only had it a few hours basically. She said she did not have to listen to what I had to say, She was not going to listen to me. I said that is both you guys problem, you WOULD NOT listen. And you still not listening.

She said they had lost the money for the bird because it flew away now, I said, The baby bird is lost because you people are stupid and would not,,did not listen and you NOW want to talk about money,  I said.. I loved that baby, from the egg till you got it we care for them and now because you do what you want took it outside its gone, You did everything I told you NOT to do, You would not do anything I told you to do. You knew it all and now look what has  happened. Within  15 hours of having the bird you people took a new baby that you did not know, it did not know you.. , you washed it(told you not to), You took it outside(told you not to) and its gone. Why was the harness not on the bird? Then She explained, We just took it out for a minute she says, I could not get them to understand that what they did from the start was stupid and irresponsible, they would not listen. She says we saw other people that have birds outside, I said, they most likely had their bird longer than 15 hours before trying it too, She said that did not matter, All she said was I sold her a bird that could fly.                                                    

WELL, Imagine that? A BIRD THAT CAN FLY......                                         Well I am going to leave it there, You Know What?  I can't Fix Stupid...

The last we know, this poor little 16 week old baby african grey is still gone, they spent ,, In their words    " a whole 3 or 4 hours looking, a whole afternnon. " .

I am so sorry that we sold them this bird, this has made us sick to our stomach. This has been an experience for us here at Royal Bird Company. We have never had anyone that just would not listen and refused all logic.  And I guess they are right,,,they did not have to listen to what I had to say, I mean you know,, I have only been breeding and selling birds for over 35 years, and very successfully I might add. I never have or had any customer let a baby bird fly away..

This will never happen again if we can help it, At the first indication that the customer is not listening, or will not listen, or cannot understand me, then we will refuse to sell them anything. Selling this baby to them was a Mistake and we have to live with for ever. We just hope that someone in the Woodland Hills, CA area found it,, and PLEASE do not give it back to them,, Please call us we can help you and guide you to give this baby a good SAFE home..

Last Word, If you cannot listen, can not listen,refuse to understand what we are saying, PLEASE do not buy our birds, and if you actually do get a chance to get one of our quality birds and you reduse to listen, Please remember do not call us when you do something stupid and want us to fix it.



We have included some emails below, we have received over 500 emails in response to this. 

response EMAILS


I just read your "mistake" story and after being involved with raising/training, exhibiting and breeding dogs for many, many years, I can believe what these people did.  For them, they  don't see the planning, blood, sweat and tears that go into raising an animal, they just mentally calculate how much money you must be making from each sale.  So many people view an animal not as a loving companion and family member, but as "property" to display and show off to their friends.  When the poor thing does something completely unexpected and behaves like an animal, it's always the breeder's fault as far as the owners are concerned.  I can understand your anger, sadness and general disgust in this situation, but for every idiot, there are so many more people that love and adore their pets and make it all worth while.  Selling a bird that can fly is like selling a horse that can walk and wondering why it ran off when you left the barn door open.  Hopefully this poor bird was found by someone who took it in and loved it and if the unthinkable happened, the bird is still in a much better place than with these folks.


Sandy Brandt

TriStar Great Danes


Some people are not smart enough to care for a dog and certainly not a exotic bird. We can only hope these people don't breed 

Scott B, Charolotte, NC


I'm sorry u and
mike had to experience that. I no u guys put ur heart and soul into ur birds some people don't deserve to have them its really to bad ur bird had to be involved though.
Cindy C.


Hey Sheila,

We saw the very sad story on the Home Page of your website. I am so
sorry for the Baby Bird. I cannot believe anyone could be that stupid.
Very disgusting. On a much brighter note, we wanted you to know we
listened! Our two beautiful Royal Bird babies - Finley (6) Yellow Nape,
and Maisy Jane (2) African Grey are doing fabulous. We are actually
putting in a sun room (aka their room) next month. They both talk,
sing, and bring us joy every day. Maisy seems to love Finley more than
he loves her (you can almost see him rolling his eyes as she chatters
on about Finley being such a good boy)... but otherwise, everything is
great! Maisy even scolds the dogs (whether they need it or not). You
raise beautiful babies and many of us truly appreciate the gift you
have given us.

Take Care,


Hi Sheila

You go girl, tell them like it is..

I am so sorry about this and I cannot understand why people will not listen. I am a breeder here in DALLAS, TX and I have been through the same thing , We do not clip our babies wings till they can balance and learn the cage, If you clip the wings on babies they can hurt them selves, Many of our customers tell us not to cut their wings at all. I recommend to cut them later on after they can balance and get around without bombing onto the floor and the cage bottom. after you tell them and tell them and still do these stupid are right, You can't Fix Stupid.....

You guys are alright in my book.. 


Carrie T



hello Royal Bird Company

I just read this story and its a heart breaker and also makes me mad, Why would anyone purchase a harness and not use it? I  am thinking, what is wrong here with these people, No one should ever sell them another bird that for sure. 

Robbie M.

LA, Ca


Hello There 

You know, its the craziest thing i ever heard, having a bird for a few hours and changing the diet, washing the bird, taking it outside (no harness) all in about 15 hours, What the hell? I mean you sent them a instruction paper, you told them what to do, what not to do, I can't get over it..that they would ever call you, I would have been so ashamed to tell someone what i did , not did, whatever..

Mark M.

Albany, NY




I hope for your sake this never happens again. Just remember we can fix a lot of things within our lives. You can’t fix STUPID. It is unfortunate people don’t understand the huge responsibilities that come with bird ownership. However, if you accept and fulfill those responsibilities you are given back tenfold. Our( RBC Blue and Gold), Harley is a full-fledged family member.   She brings absolute joy to all our lives. Harley has a large vocabulary and not just a mimicker.  Her excitement to see us brings just as much to us. It tells us we are doing something right by her. I had and bred dogs most my life. If I knew twenty years (or more J) ago, what I know now about birds now, I would have had bird family members from the beginning.

Thank you for all your care and love of these magnificent creatures. Especially, for sharing Harley with us.  See attached-- Harley at her beach house. Note the strange birth mark on her chest-it is called a harness with me attached to the other end. We take no chances.

Dave and Eileen




Hello Royal Bird, Sheila and Mike

Hi this Dean

I got a blue gold macaw from you many years ago, he is great..

I just read this aweful story about the stupid people in Woodland Hills, Why would anyone in only having a bird for a few hours wash it, take it outside without a harness???. I Had my bird a few weeks and then after i got to know it, i put the harness on and took it outside for afew minutes, I WOULD NEVER TAKE MY BIRD OUTSIDE WITHOUT A HARNESS AND I NOW HAVE HAD MY BIRD FOR 5 YEARS, I got my bird from you, Royal Bird Company, I listened to what Sheila said and I am very happy, The people that let their bird get away should never ever ever have another bird, a goldfish, or  even a hamster. They are the worst pet owners i have ever heard about.  Thanks again SHEILA and MIKE Royal Bird Company.


Dean   LA, CA


Hi Guys

Its me , Muhammed Mudal from miami

Thought you guys would like to know how the baby is doing and i want to cooment on this stupid people that do not like wings cut, stupid people, my baby is doing very good , we love him and we have a friend in kuwait that is moving here 2013 and will want a bird, we tell him to go to Sheila, Royal Bird Place, we had one before this but no as good as your baby now, we love him your baby yellow nape amazon and talks all the time. thank you again, muhammed, fl



What an awful story, why would anyone let their bird fly away, sooo crazy.

well have the sweetest,best,most taker bird, its from you and you did a fantatsic job.

we love her so much now. suki the cockatoo, hope you remember her, i know you do raise lots, we drove 7 hours to the denver airport from idaho becuase no airport close here, but now delta does fly boise, she is worth every mile and every hour, she is the best,she is so sweet and we do keep her wings trimmed, its just common sense, anyway thanks again for the baby last year and I think that hubby wants another bird from you, maybe african grey this time.

Terry Burches, Boise,ID


We were horrified and saddened that someone would risk losing their precious baby they just got, especially having had your expert advice on their behalf. These babies depend on us to care for them and keep them safe - our privilege in life.  People like this will never understand and appreciate sharing life with these remarkable creatures.
We hope to get a baby from your incredible facility in the near future. Thank you for all you do.
Ron and Darlene Freedman
Wake Forest NC



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